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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Public Health (Read 1278 times)
Jeff
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Public Health
Oct 6th, 2015 at 4:02pm
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The Opposition
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Re: Public Health
Reply #1 - Oct 7th, 2015 at 1:39am
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If you want to kill yourself with cigarettes, I'd better not pay for it. At all. I'd better not even be ostracised for refusing to pay for it.

I have very little problem with libertarianism in theory. I have a problem with it, plus this society, and these people. I think they have no concept of rational, causal accountability for one's actions. Once someone is hurting, no matter if they brought it on themselves, they become a charity case and obligation to help your fellow man rears its ugly head. If I'm going to be forced to help, no illusion of choice please. And also, it'd be nice if the damage these people can do to themselves is limited through force.
  

This moral relativism of yours is exactly what lets government take this freedom, then that freedom, until we have lost them all.
-SnarkySack
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stevea
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Re: Public Health
Reply #2 - Oct 7th, 2015 at 3:11am
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The Opposition wrote on Oct 7th, 2015 at 1:39am:
If you want to kill yourself with cigarettes, I'd better not pay for it. At all. I'd better not even be ostracised for refusing to pay for it.


I think that is perfectly reasonable.

Quote:
I have very little problem with libertarianism in theory. I have a problem with it, plus this society, and these people. I think they have no concept of rational, causal accountability for one's actions. Once someone is hurting, no matter if they brought it on themselves, they become a charity case and obligation to help your fellow man rears its ugly head.


I'd claim that is a PERSONAL moral responsibility and not a matter for the state.   If you'd like to support these ppl out of voluntary charity (or not), so be it.

Quote:
If I'm going to be forced to help, no illusion of choice please. And also, it'd be nice if the damage these people can do to themselves is limited through force.


Here we disagree strongly (if I read you correctly).   Instead of attacking the core problem (you being forced to support those who engage in activities you disapprove of), you accept that and then become one of the police-state advocates trying to force others to act to reduce your costs/tax.

Most intelligent ppl might agree that eating reasonably well and getting some exercise saving for retirement, avoiding excessive risks and a million other things are a good ideas.   But I strongly object to anyone trying to impose those norms on others.

Progressives come along and "socialize" the costs of these nominally "bad behaviors".  Meaning that we all pay into social security as a backup-retirement systems and we all pay tax so that those on welfare and food stamps and ADC (46% of the population!) can get a welfare benefit, and we all pay into a socialized medical systems to pay for people who are otherwise uninsured.  Of course when government is the form of socializing costs (as opposed to private charity) this means force is used to extract your payment.

But this act of forcing everyone to pay for these public services automatically creates a terrible system of motivations.  If I am forced pay into socialized medicine, then suddenly I have an interest in controlling how you act & eat and what you do.  If I'm forced to pay for your welfare check, then suddenly I have an interest in interfering with your life choices.   If we're all forced to pay 15% into social security, then maybe that brilliant young potential writer or entrepreneur never gets the chance.

Socializing these costs via government force is a simple means to convert people into authoritarians.  Don't take that bait.

The other aspect the article covers is the politicization of these supposedly "good" vs "bad" behaviors.  It's a hallmark of Progressives to claim they know what is best for all and to want to impose their belief system on others by government force.   It's most commonly done in the name of protecting the "poor little dummies" from themselves - state paternalism (aka fascism).  What starts out as "no smoking" turns into a truly ridiculous campaign of risk reduction w/ no consideration of the costs to liberty.
  
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Jeff
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Re: Public Health
Reply #3 - Oct 8th, 2015 at 4:39pm
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stevea wrote on Oct 7th, 2015 at 3:11am:
Socializing these costs via government force is a simple means to convert people into authoritarians.  Don't take that bait.

Great reply steve, I enjoyed your analysis and insights.

Unfortunately, what actually happens is that authoritarians seize power and make everyone else into their subjects, for the good of all.
  

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The Opposition
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Re: Public Health
Reply #4 - Oct 8th, 2015 at 7:23pm
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stevea wrote on Oct 7th, 2015 at 3:11am:
Here we disagree strongly (if I read you correctly).   Instead of attacking the core problem (you being forced to support those who engage in activities you disapprove of), you accept that and then become one of the police-state advocates trying to force others to act to reduce your costs/tax.


Only if those costs and taxes are unavoidable, because I believe they are. If it's not taxed out of me, it'll come out of my hide some other way. People will not just let others die. That chain smoker is going to get his nice comfortable hospital bed to die in, no matter what.

Now, you can say it's voluntary, so I'm not forced to pay for it. Someone else pays for it. That's fine on the face of it, but deeper down, rewarding bad behaviour, even voluntarily, has consequences for everyone. It is a mathematical certainty that rewarding bad behaviour punishes good behaviour. Soon the economy is drained from charity, because the people giving voluntary charity instead of force-based charity have no power to limit the bad behaviour they insist on rewarding.

If you can give me a society with few enough goody-two-shoes that a breaking point will be reached, and eventually people will shake their heads and turn away, and others will be allowed to suffer for bad choices, even if that means dying on the street, I will embrace the libertarian ideal that people should be allowed to smoke.

I will even embrace the fact that this generation and many of the next will be a loss to those who engage in good behaviours as we wait for that breaking point.

stevea wrote on Oct 7th, 2015 at 3:11am:
Progressives come along and "socialize" the costs of these nominally "bad behaviors".  Meaning that we all pay into social security as a backup-retirement systems and we all pay tax so that those on welfare and food stamps and ADC (46% of the population!) can get a welfare benefit, and we all pay into a socialized medical systems to pay for people who are otherwise uninsured.  Of course when government is the form of socializing costs (as opposed to private charity) this means force is used to extract your payment.


Force is also used to limit the bad behaviour that payment is rewarding. In this society of people who will always help someone, no matter what, that's a damn good tradeoff. Now we have welfare queens with six babies, and I believe the government fairly recently limited additional benefits so you don't get rewarded for having more than two. With private charity, we will have welfare queens with sixty babies, because no one will let them starve and there's no power to limit her actions. That affects everyone.

stevea wrote on Oct 7th, 2015 at 3:11am:
But this act of forcing everyone to pay for these public services automatically creates a terrible system of motivations.  If I am forced pay into socialized medicine, then suddenly I have an interest in controlling how you act & eat and what you do.  If I'm forced to pay for your welfare check, then suddenly I have an interest in interfering with your life choices.   If we're all forced to pay 15% into social security, then maybe that brilliant young potential writer or entrepreneur never gets the chance.


Exactly right, because that 15% going out of your pocket represents stuff - like a book - you can no longer buy.

Without the power of force, anyone in need still gets everything they need from charity, unless you propose that people will ever fail to help others in need for any reason. So if the needy need 15% of the GDP, they still get it. The only thing that changes is that the nicest people now pay the most.

But soon, the needy will need 20%. Those taking are getting rewarded, but force is not being used to limit their behaviours. Those behaviours will be exacerbated in people already engaging in them, and with every 1% more of the economy needy demand, new people will become needy because they lost their jobs providing non-necessities. The demand for necessities will grow, but as with any shift, the man trained as a writer will find a hard time becoming a farmer. That guy who used to write books is now needy himself. He'll get charity. The guy selling the writer lattes is now needy. The guy selling the Starbucks guy cable is now needy. Snowball.

Look that imposed horse in the mouth. His "theft" from you is actually protecting you from paying a lot more to the needy. If everyone else is giving 100% of their extra income to the needy, do you think they won't ostracise you? He's protecting your job selling a non-necessity. He's limiting the bad behaviour of the leeches, which society would otherwise reward without question or limit.

stevea wrote on Oct 7th, 2015 at 3:11am:
It's most commonly done in the name of protecting the "poor little dummies" from themselves - state paternalism (aka fascism).


I think they're protecting everyone else from them.

You have a point that they go overboard. Drinking a large soda is illegal in New York. The People should demand some proof that this behaviour is damaging. Then, instead of addressing the core problem, people turn libertarian. Every regulation must be wrong. Don't take the bait.
  

This moral relativism of yours is exactly what lets government take this freedom, then that freedom, until we have lost them all.
-SnarkySack
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Jeff
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Re: Public Health
Reply #5 - Oct 9th, 2015 at 9:16am
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The Opposition wrote on Oct 8th, 2015 at 7:23pm:
Now, you can say it's voluntary, so I'm not forced to pay for it. Someone else pays for it. That's fine on the face of it, but deeper down, rewarding bad behaviour, even voluntarily, has consequences for everyone.

If rewarding bad behavior has bad consequences for everyone, we should try to limit rewarding bad behavior. The easiest way to do that is to not "socialize" the cost of the reward.
  

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Jeff
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Re: Public Health
Reply #6 - Oct 9th, 2015 at 9:23am
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The Opposition wrote on Oct 8th, 2015 at 7:23pm:
You have a point that they go overboard. Drinking a large soda is illegal in New York. The People should demand some proof that this behaviour is damaging. Then, instead of addressing the core problem, people turn libertarian. Every regulation must be wrong. Don't take the bait.

The bait you offer is the premise that "regulation" can prevent "bad" decisions by individuals. This is completely disproved, absolutely wrong.

It's not that every "regulation" is going to be "wrong", it's that our government has no authority to allow unelected bureaucrats to make "law" at all.

It's very clear from the original article that perverse incentives do in fact ensure that "regulation" in the area of "Public Health" is bad. Very bad.
  

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The Opposition
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Re: Public Health
Reply #7 - Oct 10th, 2015 at 12:49am
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Jeff wrote on Oct 9th, 2015 at 9:16am:
If rewarding bad behavior has bad consequences for everyone, we should try to limit rewarding bad behavior. The easiest way to do that is to not "socialize" the cost of the reward.


Let me shorten my case to one you will hopefully read.

Government will force you to give charity. They will also limit the impact of bad behaviours. You would just give the charity and there would be no limit, because you're a goody-two-shoes.

In a world full of evil people like me, I'll go libertarian. In this one, freedom = disaster.
  

This moral relativism of yours is exactly what lets government take this freedom, then that freedom, until we have lost them all.
-SnarkySack
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Jeff
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Re: Public Health
Reply #8 - Oct 10th, 2015 at 8:50am
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The Opposition wrote on Oct 10th, 2015 at 12:49am:
Let me shorten my case to one you will hopefully read.

Government will force you to give charity.

If you are forced to "give" by the government, it's not charity.
  

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The Opposition
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Re: Public Health
Reply #9 - Oct 10th, 2015 at 8:19pm
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If you think government is bad,
Just wait until you've really had,
A taste of that which really stings,
Which is what freedom brings.

Imagine if you will, a land,
Where all your masters have a hand,
In puppetting each of your strings...
This is what freedom brings.

Instead of serving one, you'll lurch,
To serve the charities, the church;
The store, the ASPCA,
Run afoul of one - you'll pay.

For anyone with power gets,
The right to run your nuts and bits.
If you do something they don't like,
Refuse to serve! You'll take a hike.

Each need you have, one master served,
One more behaviour will be curbed.
No man now left, of freedom sings,
This is what freedom brings.
  

This moral relativism of yours is exactly what lets government take this freedom, then that freedom, until we have lost them all.
-SnarkySack
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